May 5, 2022: Day 96 – Isaiah 56-58 and Matthew 17-19May 9, 2022
As we make our way to the end of Isaiah we move away from the promise of destruction for the nations that are foes of Israel to what seems like a more personalized description of the good and the wicked. The prophet moves away from a description of nations to the description of individuals. He sets up a dichotomy between the righteous and the wicked.
The most powerful verses in this section has to be vss. 5-12. Isaiah redefines what fasting is, from a personal abstaining from food the a communal reaching out with justice, feeding the hungry, reconciling with others, clothing the naked, providing shelter. It is a good reminder to us that God requires us to do these things, they are not options, they are part and parcel of who we are as disciples.
In Matthew we get a major event and then a series of teachings that allow us to read it without getting tired. We begin with the transfiguration where Jesus is revealed to the core disciples as being in league with Moses and Elijah. The parable of the lost sheep is tucked away in statements about children and their importance in the kingdom of God and the need to have the type of faith that children have in order to obtain the kingdom of God. It is described fundamentally as a humble faith.
We then have statements on divorce and the need to store up treasures in heaven which makes a rich young man very sad.